Investment Banking Provides IT Job Opportunities

The technology world continues to attract talent. This is particularly true of Investment Banking, where ongoing investment in Information Technology remains critical to the success of a business and is seen as a key differentiator.

According to the recently published “2012 Bank Systems/Wall Street Salary Survey” by Information Week, the market for IT talent in the financial services sector is strengthening and shifting in focus. However, total compensation for IT staff and managers has been relatively flat.

Median Pay

According to the 2012 Bank Systems/Wall Street Salary Survey, salaries and total compensation for IT staff and managers are relatively flat from 2011 levels. Median base salaries for IT staffers remained at $90,000, while median total compensation for this group increased $2,000 to $99,000 in 2012. For managers, median base salary dropped to $117,000 from $120,000 in 2011, while median total compensation, including bonuses, for this group dropped to $130,000; nearly returning to its 2010 level.

Skills in Demand

Specific areas in high demand are software architects, data analysts and project engagement managers. Both managers and staff respondents in the survey cited an array of business and technical skills they believe to be critical to their jobs. A majority of the participants said aligning business and technology goals was critical, along with integrating enterprise applications and collaborating with internal stakeholders.

Feeling Secure

The economy has had an impact on IT staff and managers, especially in Investment Banking. Nearly half of staff and managers received a raise of less than 5 percent. One-fourth of them saw benefit cuts.

Still, respondents to the survey seem to feel more secure about their jobs than they did the past few years. Over 39 percent of staff reported feeling very secure in their positions, up from 30 percent in 2010. Similarly 45 percent of IT managers said they feel very secure in their current jobs, up from 41 percent two years ago.

Want Ideas Implemented

Technology has made organizations flatter and less hierarchical, and employees’ career goals have changed accordingly. IT staff and managers are now looking for greater challenges, and want their ideas heard by decision-makers. Previously, career advancement meant a better title and a couple-percent bump in salary. Now career advancement means new responsibility and the chance to see their ideas get noticed and implemented.

It would be an understatement to say the past several years have been rough for all facets of the Investment Banking industry. IT professionals who up-skill themselves by acquiring the right skills can make themselves seen as clearly valued by their prospective employers, and survive and thrive in the modern Wall Street IT organization.

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